The 'Dawn Patrol': Golf's Early Risers

Have you ever heard one golfer refer to other golfers as being part of "the dawn patrol"? What does that mean, anyway? It means those golfers are very early risers.

You know those golfers who like to play as early as possible? The ones who pull into the golf course parking lot when it's still dark, grab a cup of coffee and take a few perfunctory warm-up swings, and then tee off at the first crack of light — or maybe even a little before? Those golfers make up the dawn patrol.

Or, to put it more simply, "dawn patrol" is a slang term for those who like to tee off their golf round at the crack of dawn. Another term for the same players is "dew sweepers" — golfers who tee off when there is still dew on the ground.

Why would a golfer want to tee off on the dawn patrol? Well, what's not to like? OK, if you're not a morning person, then you definitely don't want to be starting at the crack of dawn. But at the time, it's often quiet, peaceful, you get to putt on greens that haven't been walked on all day, you get to inhale that fresh morning air (possibly with hints of freshly cut grass).

If you are a morning person, then the dawn patrol is the perfect time to play golf. The only possible issue: When your home course has lots of golfers jockeying for those early tee times. Sometimes, it turns out, the dawn patrol is one of the busier times of day at a golf course. Lots of senior golfers, in particular, like to tee off bright and early.

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